As concerns about the Biden administration disregarding the U.S. Constitution continue to grow, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a new lawsuit against President Biden and members of his administration over a massive $1.7 trillion spending bill.

The Constitution requires that a quorum of members of the U.S. House of Representatives be present for the lower chamber of Congress to conduct business. However, only 201 members of the House of Representatives were present in the House’s chamber when the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 was voted on in December 2022.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act allocates $20 million to a case-management pilot program for the Department of Homeland Security’s “Alternatives to Detention Program,” which would release illegal aliens who would rather be detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

According to the lawsuit, the program has cost Texas millions of dollars each year to give healthcare to illegal aliens, citing $80 million Texas spent in emergency Medicaid funding in 2019.

Also cited in the lawsuit is the $176 million Texas taxpayers were forced to pay to educate illegal aliens in public schools during the 2020-21 school year.

The House passed a revised version of the bill with 225 yea and 201 nay votes; however, there were only 88 yea and 113 nay votes in person, with many Republicans and Democrats voting by proxy.

Former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi implemented proxy voting, which allowed members to vote without being present on the floor, in 2020 in respond to COVID-19. After Republicans gained control over the house last month, they repealed the practice.

Paxton argues that because there was no quorum when the act was passed, it was never lawfully enacted and is unconstitutional.

“Nowhere does the U.S. Constitution authorize the House to pass trillion-dollar bills when more than half the members are in their homes, vacationing, or are anywhere physically other than the United States Capitol Building,” said Paxton.

Our Founders would be turning over in their graves if they could see how former Speaker Nancy Pelosi used proxy voting to upend our constitutional system. That is especially true regarding the 1.7 trillion-dollar bill that should have never been “passed.” Joe Biden, who’s been in Washington for half a century, should have known he couldn’t legally sign it either. But he never seems to let the law get in the way of him doing whatever he wants to do.

The case has been filed in a U.S. District Court in Lubbock. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.

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